Author Topic: Retrocomputing: comx35  (Read 1475 times)

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Offline saronno

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Retrocomputing: comx35
« on: August 19, 2016, 01:12:51 pm »
I have one of this little puppy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comx-35 ... my problem is
modulator don't work.



As you can see in the photo below there is clearly a missing component,
something connected to the "big pin" and the "little pin".
There is a symbol in the PCB ... it's not clear but is like a capacitor and is very near to a circle.



Any guess?
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Retrocomputing: comx35
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2016, 02:10:25 pm »
Odds are there's nothing missing and its a crude variable capacitor, with a value of a couple of pF, adjusted by bending the small pin towards or away from the big pin.  If there *was* something missing, you'd expect to find debris rattling around inside the screening can + traces of the component body on the pins. 

* Have you checked the modulator video input and 5V supply?
* Have you got a TV win an analog tuner that covers UHF channel 36?
* Have you checked its output on a UHF spectrum analyser?

If there is no UHF output, odds are its a dry joint on the undeneath of the modulator PCB.  The modulator would need to be desoldered from the main board to gain access.  Worst case, if the video in and supply are OK, and the modulator is FUBARed (which I doubt) you can probably substitute an Aztec UM1233, which are much easier to find as N.O.S.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 02:12:19 pm by Ian.M »
 
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Offline saronno

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Re: Retrocomputing: comx35
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 12:38:26 pm »
Odds are there's nothing missing and its a crude variable capacitor, with a value of a couple of pF, adjusted by bending the small pin towards or away from the big pin.  If there *was* something missing, you'd expect to find debris rattling around inside the screening can + traces of the component body on the pins. 

Never seen something like that. Is it very common is this kin of modulator?

Quote
* Have you checked the modulator video input and 5V supply?
* Have you got a TV win an analog tuner that covers UHF channel 36?
* Have you checked its output on a UHF spectrum analyser?

* No, but I will.
* Yes.
* Unfortunately I have not a spectrum analyzer.

As soon as I have any news I will  update this thread.

Thanks anyway.
If there is no UHF output, odds are its a dry joint on the undeneath of the modulator PCB.  The modulator would need to be desoldered from the main board to gain access.  Worst case, if the video in and supply are OK, and the modulator is FUBARed (which I doubt) you can probably substitute an Aztec UM1233, which are much easier to find as N.O.S.
[/quote]
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Retrocomputing: comx35
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 01:47:18 pm »
Odds are there's nothing missing and its a crude variable capacitor, with a value of a couple of pF, adjusted by bending the small pin towards or away from the big pin.  If there *was* something missing, you'd expect to find debris rattling around inside the screening can + traces of the component body on the pins. 

Never seen something like that. Is it very common is this kid of modulator?
Before the introduction of SMD technology, in the days of point-to-point wiring and then through-hole PCBs, physical layout of the circuit was absolutely critical and VHF/UHF tuners and modulators were usually aligned by squeezing or spreading air core coils to tweak their inductance and by bending wires or sheet metal vanes to tweak the capacitance.  Only larger values of variable capacitor or inductor would have an actual screw adjustment. 
 

Offline saronno

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Re: Retrocomputing: comx35
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 02:00:59 pm »
Before the introduction of SMD technology, in the days of point-to-point wiring and then through-hole PCBs, physical layout of the circuit was absolutely critical and VHF/UHF tuners and modulators were usually aligned by squeezing or spreading air core coils to tweak their inductance and by bending wires or sheet metal vanes to tweak the capacitance.  Only larger values of variable capacitor or inductor would have an actual screw adjustment.

Very interesting.
ANyway, I have a very good news: it was just a cold joint !
Now everthing if fine: this little puppy, as usually David says ...it's a winner.

And from what I see on ebay, they are pricey too.
I see auction here in Italy with a closing price of 300 euros.

http://www.ebay.it/itm/RETROCOMPUTER-COMX-35-1983-VINTAGE-HOME-PC-THE-CLEVER-COMPUTER-COSMAC-RCA-1802-/112070517136?hash=item1a17ec6190:g:ef0AAOSwSv1XljmH
 


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